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Roasted strawberry crostinis with queso fresco chipotle cheese

My incurable curiosity about food and grumbling-stomach has driven me to study, taste and dive into the culinary Los Angele

The phrase "you eat with your eyes before your stomach" is an old one that is nearing cliche, but that certainly doesn't mean it's not true. As a food photographer, I sometimes envision a visual before the recipe comes to mind. I'll think of washes of color or contradicting textures, and then develop a recipe to fit that image.

That happened with this rustic crostini. I love the idea of taking something usually so technicolor like fresh strawberries, and making them a bit moody and sophisticated. Roasting them concentrates their sweetness by caramelizing their sugar, so you get this rich, intense flavor, and a more subtle, almost tawny color palette. Paired with smokey and spicy creamy queso fresco chipotle cheese from The Laughing Cow, this is a unique appetizer you can enjoy over a glass of wine with friends, or as your 3 p.m. pick-me-up.

Ingredients:

For 4

  • 4 wedges, The Laughing Cow Creamy Queso Fresco Chipotle
  • 4 thin slices of baguette, toasted
  • 8 strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered, depending on size
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Lay the strawberries out on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with sugar and a little salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the juices are bubbly and the strawberries have caramelized a bit.
  3. Spread the sourdough with a wedge of cheese each, top with strawberries and enjoy.
Disclosure: This post is part of a collaboration with The Laughing Cow and SheKnows.
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